Electric Cars

Can't wait until Model 3? Tesla's got a two-year lease just for you

With a modest down payment, you can spend as little as $593 per month on a Tesla Model S or X while you wait for the "affordable" model to come about.

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It's very easy to get lost on that leasing calculator and end up looking at $1,000 monthly payments. Hell, you don't even get all-wheel drive for that advertised lease price.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

The waiting, Tom Petty tells us, is the hardest part. But if you've got cash to spare, waiting for Tesla to build the Model 3 may not be such a trial.

With the Model 3's launch still potentially years away, you might consider leasing a different car to hold you over. If that's the case, Tesla's new lease could be right up your alley.

Tesla recently introduced 24-month lease plans for buyers. Although it's not explicitly angled toward Model 3 drivers, it wouldn't hurt Tesla to stop them from spending two years giving a different automaker a pile of cash each month. It's a limited-time test, but it's available for both the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover.

If you head over to Tesla's leasing site, you can use its calculator to determine your lease payment. If you want to hit Tesla's advertised low price of $593 per month, you'll have to plunk down a $6,000 down payment on a Tesla Model S 60, the bare-bones entry model, and drive only 10,000 miles per year. If you want 12,000 miles, the price will jump to $620 per month.

Let's say you want a Model X, instead. The base $74,000 Model X, with a $7,400 down payment and the same lease terms as before, will run you $669 per month (using my home zip code of 48220). If you want to ball out, you can get a $115,500 Model X P90D for $1,504 per month with a 10 percent down payment.

The sky's the limit, but if you'd rather spend as little as possible to get a long-range EV in your driveway ahead of the Model 3, you'd better get in there quickly. The special lease rate of $593 per month is only available if you place your order on or before September 12.

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